By Jim Selman | BioI read a nice piece called Welcoming the Approach of the Golden Years by Gary Westover talking about his growing awareness that he has a choice about how he grows older. He can follow the path of his parents and others and deteriorate each year until finally succumbing to dementia or worse. Or he realizes he can see that it is his attitudes and expectations that create the future he is living into and he can look forward to a continually expanding and rewarding experience of living. How we age is a choice and a commitment, it is not a given. He is realizing the difference between being an elder and becoming elderly.
We have added a third distinction called ‘eldering’. Some people love the term and others say it reminds them of the fact that they are getting ‘old’ and with that thought comes the fear of being elderly. This is why there is so much resistance to growing old and people trying to hang onto their youth just a little longer. Eldering is our term for the question of ‘how to’ live to the fullest after retirement and as we enter the last third of life. Eldering is wisdom